How long does it take to cure?
Natural hydraulic limes set by a combination of an initial chemical reaction (hydraulic set) followed by a slower carbonation process (absorption of CO2). Factors such as temperature and humidity will affect both of these processes. In ideal conditions, the slab will harden sufficiently to allow further works to be carried out within 3 days. We would recommend however that the floor is protected from traffic with boards during the first few weeks of curing. These boards should be lifted when not in use (weekends and overnight) to allow the floor to dry.
Screed layers, flagstones or other stone/tile materials should not be laid until the slab material has started to carbonate – this would be a recommended 28 days depending on conditions. For timber floors, you need to make sure all of the moisture has had time to come out of the floor and this can take months.
Unless laying limecrete in very low temperatures we do not recommend the overuse of dehumidifiers or excessive heating to accelerate this process. Please contact us for advice on laying floors in cold conditions.
It is important to schedule work as much as possible around the curing times of the floor but we know that in reality measures are taken to enable work to continue e.g. using boards to distribute weight etc. but if this is done, they do need to be removed when not being used for the curing to take place or the job should be planned to be able to give e.g. different sections enough time without impeding progress.
The myth of long curing times can be an unfounded reason for people choosing not to use limecrete floors. With correct installation, phasing and planning the use of limecrete will not hold up works progress.